Less Places for Your Heart to Go


A wise teacher once said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  By that, he meant that our hearts will naturally gravitate to the things we have invested the most into.

I felt that gravitation this past weekend. While I was in the store shopping with my family, a stranger scraped the side of our vehicle in the parking lot and promptly drove off. The driver left us with no insurance/contact information… nothing… just a large noticeable scrape across the rear passenger side of our vehicle. My wife and I both immediately felt sick to our stomachs. And as we drove away in silence, I began to think about what had just happened and how I responded.

I found it interesting to consider that if this same scrape had been left in my bicycle, my son’s skateboard, or my daughter’s scooter, I would not have been nearly upset. “Why not?” I wondered. And it occurred to me, I wouldn’t be nearly as upset because I don’t have nearly as much invested in those things. But our vehicle is a huge investment and because of that, my heart gravitates toward it. I guess the teacher was right, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

One benefit of minimalism is that the less investment you put in material possessions, the less places your heart has to go. When we begin to invest our money, time, and lives into more meaningful things (like relationships, social causes, or raising our children), our hearts will be drawn to those things because that is where our life investment is going… and a white scrape in your maroon minivan won’t ruin your entire day.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. Christine says

    I completely understand this feeling. As soon as I started selling many of my “collectibles” on ebay, I felt a huge sense of relief. I didn’t have to worry about them anymore! Now I only keep the things that mean the most to me. However, a car is a bigger deal. It’s very disappointing to be involved in a hit and run (I’ve come out of a store on many occasions to a big new dent or scratch, with no note from the guilty party) – I don’t think I’ll ever want to buy a fancy car, just for this very reason!

      • Lori says

        Di, do not worry about what happens to “things”. They are just things.
        I am sure you can think of worthy people that would take care of them for you or you can donate to a worthy, worthwhile cause or perhaps a family or person that needs some help. Good luck.

  2. Phil says

    Good thoughts!
    Also a note for the ‘credit where credit is due dept.’…. the “wise teacher” is Jesus!

    • Louise Hickey says

      Thanks for that, Phil! Yes, it was certainly Jesus who said that (aka God, for those who believe). He was (and is) the best Minimalist of all time!

  3. says

    A pastor friend of mine once told me that the thing you think about right before you go to sleep at night is what you treasure is.

    So if this is true, apparently what I’m going to have for breakfast the next day appears to be what my treasure is much of the time.

    However, it does give you something to ponder.

    • Trish R. says

      Another one is to say, “Quick, the house is on fire what will you save in 10 minuutes?” It helps sort out the treasures.

  4. Noelle says

    I’m sorry about the incident with your car. I understand that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach – your stuff got damaged through no fault of your own, there is no one to direct your unhappiness at, and the onus is all on you to get it fixed.

    It is hard to not value more the things we paid more for/value more and I think you are right that less stuff and/or less valuable stuff would not have the same emotional impact and better to invest ourselves in meaningful activities. This is why I resist attempts from family to give us heirlooms or valuable gifts, so that we will not have to assume the burden of taking care of the “crystal candlesticks that used to belong to Grandma,” etc.

  5. says

    These stories make me glad we only bought a €1000 used car…. ;)
    It has its fair share of scratches, but as long as it does its job, we’ll be fine

    Greetings from the netherlands!

  6. says

    I just found your site and based on reading this first blog about “where your treasure is” I know I’m going to love it here. I have my heart strings tugged at times when I’m least expecting it, sometimes leaving me sad, sometimes happy, and sometimes angry. Having an accident or any emergency clears your mind quickly and sure lets you know where your heart lies.

    Our family is dedicated to finding ways to live a more frugal lifestyle. Not just because money is tight, but because minimalist living is the right thing to do. Cluttering up our homes clutters up our lives which clutters up our minds. I truly appreciate this marvelous website and your thoughtful posts. You are definitely worth a daily visit! Keep up the wonderful work you do!

  7. says

    “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This comes from Jesus’ sermon on the mount of olives, found in Matthew 5-7. This particular axiom is found in 6:21.

    I completely agree with your sentiments about the car. A brand new black BMW would probably grab my heart in a different way than my Toyota pickup.

    The other side is that if it wouldn’t have been a stranger who scraped your car (say it was your daughter while learning to drive… okay, someday) and the value of your car then estranges your heart from your precious daughter.

    Thank you for posting about your experience. It’s very interesting!

    • di says

      My boyfriend broke many of my heirlooms. It’s hard not to get angry and stay angry at the same time. I’ve learned to store everything away and out of his reach.

  8. Yan says

    Several years ago my wife and I became debt-free and vowed never to borrow again. When the time came to buy a car, we bought a used one for cash. After driving it for a few days, I noticed something interesting: I wasn’t as worried about this “new” car as I had been in the past when we bought a “real new car”. If I drove behind a truck and a rock hit the car, I didn’t obsess about the possible scratch on the paint (there were a few that came with the car!). If I parked in a tight spot, I wasn’t worried about a possible ding from the other drivers. This peaceful feeling (coming from the absence of worries) helped me reduce my attachment to other stuff as well. Nowadays, whenever I feel attachment for something, I remember that, in due time, that thing won’t exist anymore, or will break, or will get damaged, and I immediately start the process of letting go. At the same time, my enjoyment of the thing (or person) doubles, because of the gratitude I feel for its perfection in the present moment.

  9. Vickie says

    I love your blog. I’ve been working to minimalize for a few years now. It’s been a long process and involves my ill Mother’s estate too. Through it all, I’ve realized what I treasure most is my family. I’ve decided, over the years, I prefer not to a new or expensive car. My car is like my house, lived in and I don’t worry about dings and dents – mine has plenty. I also don’t worry about anyone stealing my car – no one would want it ! Hahaha!

  10. Samantha says

    I think the bigger disappointment in these cases is that the person lacked the integrity and honesty to own up to their mistake. It is a temporary inconvenience & superficially annoying, but things can be fixed if need be- the burden of knowing someone did it without taking responsibility is more disconcerting IMO. I treasure these qualities existing in more people to make the world a better place more than I treasure the vehicle which gets me from A to B.

  11. summer says

    Years ago I bought an expensive bike. I loved it. I was so paranoid that someone was going to steal it that I was happy to give it to my my partner when we split up. I now have a cheap bike. I love it better than the expensive one because I don’t have to worry about it.

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